Mugabe sucked into Zupco saga

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Former Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) employees laid off in June 2010 have sought the intervention of President Robert Mugabe over non-payment of their retrenchment packages.

On June 30, 2010, the State-run public transport company offloaded over 300 employees citing viability problems.

Last year, the workers took the matter to the Labour Court where a ruling is yet to be made.

The workers wrote a letter dated February 4 2012 appealing to Mugabe to intervene, saying some of them had died waiting for their packages.

“We are appealing to you Gushungo (Mugabe’s totem) to assist us have our packages and accumulating salaries paid,” reads part of the letter.

“We are former Zupco employees who were retrenched on June 30, 2010 and we are 333-plus.

“Others have passed away, some are failing to pay electricity and water bills, some are ailing because they are failing to acquire medication.”

The former workers said they were owed between $2 000 and $28 000 each as at June 30, 2010 and the money was still accumulating interest.

But Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba yesterday said the letter was yet to be delivered to the President’s Office.

Zupco acting chief executive officer Nelson Kangausaru yesterday confirmed the public transporter had not paid its former employees.

“We have not seen the letter, but I can confirm they are still owed more than a million dollars,” he said.

“The case is still pending in the courts.”
The company recently invited the retrenchees to rejoin the parastatal on condition they would not assume their previous posts.